Although barely advertised, I was tipped off that the night was going to be a musical feat and I eagerly anticipated one of Lancasters most promising bands D’Rhyme Intervention.
Unless you’re unfortunate enough to have lived in one of the seedier areas of Lancaster (like the Ridge), on face value the city has the street cred of a Busted comeback gig, which is why I was astounded to learn of a group of emerging rappers borne of it streets. With a nu-metal looking backline D’Rhyme Intervention took to the stage looking like they were straight out of Compton, clad in hip-hop threads and eminating pure unfettered attitude, taking their mic’s respectively ready to launch into the first song of the night.
Lyrically, D’Rhyme are quite simply superb, spitting out lyrics effortlessly, pulling hip-hop gestures and sparring each other on in a fast paced rhythmic nattive. Unlike other bands of their breed, D’Rhyme avoid the cliches of gang-banging, drug glorification and ‘bitches’, rather preaching what they know, referencing the streets of Morecambe in a non-aggressive approach that sets them aside from the often immature nature of their chosen genre. What crowd was present only encouraged D’Rhyme to step it up a notch and impress on-lookers as they built up momentum through the set, culminating in frontman “Mr Nice” freestyle rapping for Pendle bar like a pro in the making. With a larger audience, which they entirely deserved, D’Rhyme would excell most of the acts of their ilk and it seemed unfortunate for them the limitations of audience participation to feed off. Not to say they didn’t hold their own though, even though at times it felt they could do better than the venue provided for.
Next to take the stage were The Evil Beat, a new name for me in Lancaster who I can only assume have formed recently or spent a whole shit load of time practicing. Musically, Evil Beat loosely resembled something in the realm of Massive Attack and Tool with passionate vocals delivered brilliantly by frontperson Natalie Bennet in a set full of entirely likeable songs. I did, however, get the feeling that her rapport with the audience was somewhat limited by the needlessly prominent bassist who I can only assume is the alpha-male of the group.
This became a big qualm for me, as their uncomfortable stage presence came across in a way that only improve the more they play. It was uncertain at times who was fronting the band as Natalie became persistently over shadowed by the intensely dislikeable showmanship of her band mate. Evil Beat were promissing nonetheless and I look forward to watching them progress on stage. Criticisms aside, the PA system really didn’t do them justice (despite the efforts of the hard working lone music tech student) to an otherwise well composed, enjoyable set. Evil Beat are surely an act that will get snapped up in a second to play a college extrav or two and deservedly so. You can catch them next on April 5th at the Yorkshire House, see you there!